Ardhanarishvara, Ārdhanārīśvara, Ardhanari-ishvara, Ardhanārīśvara: 10 definitions


Ardhanarishvara means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit terms Ārdhanārīśvara and Ardhanārīśvara can be transliterated into English as Ardhanarisvara or Ardhanarishvara, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (A) next»] — Ardhanarishvara in Purana glossary
Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Ardhanārīśvara (अर्धनारीश्वर) refers to Śiva manifested as Half woman and Half man, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.15:—“[...] while I was performing penance (tapas) for creation (sṛṣṭi), the merciful lord Śiva of Trinity, came out of the spot called Avimukta between the eyebrows (bhrū) and the nose (ghrāṇa). He manifested himself as Half woman and Half man (Ardhanārīśvara) in full potency. On seeing the unborn lord Śiva, a mass of refulgence, the consort of Umā, the omniscent, the creator of everything, famous as Nīlalohita, straight in front of me I saluted him with great devotion and was highly delighted. I told the lord ‘Please create various subjects’.”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Ardhanārīśvara (अर्धनारीश्वर).—Śiva became this by worshipping Śakti:1 Image of; with details of dress and ornaments.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 27. 98; IV. 5. 30; 44. 48.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 60. 25; 192. 28; 260. 1-10.
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Vastushastra (architecture)

[«previous (A) next»] — Ardhanarishvara in Vastushastra glossary
Source: Shodhganga: Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD

Ardhanārīśvara (अर्धनारीश्वर).—Ardhanārīśvara is situated on a hillock, facing west, in the heart of Tiruchengodu. This is a rare temple, where the sanctum enshrines an image of hermaphrodite form of Śiva, (fig 48) as against the usual practice of installing 320 the Liṅga. The main shrine probably possessed only a garbhagṛha and ardhamaṇḍapa on plan, which is now included into a gūḍhamaṇḍapa of a later date. The main shrine has inscriptions of Raja Raja I and his son Rajendra Chola. By this it may be inferred that this shrine existed during the last decade of the 10th century.

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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

[«previous (A) next»] — Ardhanarishvara in Shilpashastra glossary
Source: Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (śilpa)

Ardhanārīśvara (अर्धनारीश्वर) is found as a sculpture at the temple of Lokeśvara, north wall, north façade.—In the case of Pārvatīparameśvara or Ardhanārīśvara like Śaṃkaranārāyaṇa, Śiva is represented in the right part and Viṣṇu or Pārvatī in his left portion. There is a dancing figure with two hands on the upper portion of the niche of Ardhanārīśvara, but it is very much worn out.

Another sculpture is found at the porch half wall, north façade.—This is another representation of a half-man half-woman form, one of the sports of Śiva, carved in a niche in the eastern entrance porch corner. It is like the one in fig. 199, but it is bereft of the beauty and the elegance of the previous one.

Ardhanārīśvara (अर्धनारीश्वर) is also found as a sculpture on the exterior (western wall) of the temple of Trailokyeśvara.—The left portion of the image represents Pārvatī and it is interesting to note that the artist has succeeded in giving her the Calukyan hairstyle by incorporating in it a portion of the jaṭāmakuṭa of Śiva. It shows the competency and the creativity of the artist. In the other portion which represents Śiva, the god has two hands, the upper with a trident and the lower in kaṭihasta. The goddess’ left hand is in dola.Probably, there was a mirror in her upper hand because there is trace of some round figure. Her ear ornament is remarkably beautiful.

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva (shilpa)

1) Ardhanārīśvara (अर्धनार्यीश्वर) or Ardhanārīśvaramūrti refers to one of the eighteen forms (mūrti) of Śiva mentioned in the Kāraṇāgama (pratimālakṣaṇavidhi-paṭala): the fourth among the Siddhāntaśaivāgamas. The forms of Śiva (eg., Ardhanārī-īśvara) are established through a process known as Sādākhya, described as a five-fold process of creation.

2) Ardhanārīśvara is also listed among the twelve forms (mūrti) of Śiva mentioned in the Suprabhedāgama: the tenth among the Siddhāntaśaivāgamas.

3) Ardhanārīśvara is also listed among the eighteen forms (mūrti) of Śiva mentioned in the Śilparatna (twenty-second adhyāya): a technical treatise by Śrīkumāra on Śilpaśāstra.

Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

[«previous (A) next»] — Ardhanarishvara in Rasashastra glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

Ardhanārīśvara (अर्धनारीश्वर) is the name of an Ayurvedic recipe defined in the fourth volume of the Rasajalanidhi (chapter 2, dealing with jvara: fever). These remedies are classified as Iatrochemistry and form part of the ancient Indian science known as Rasaśāstra (medical alchemy). Pārvatīśaṅkara is an ayurveda treatment and should be taken with caution and in accordance with rules laid down in the texts.

Accordingly, when using such recipes (eg., ardha-nārīśvara-rasa): “the minerals (uparasa), poisons (viṣa), and other drugs (except herbs), referred to as ingredients of medicines, are to be duly purified and incinerated, as the case may be, in accordance with the processes laid out in the texts.” (see introduction to Iatro chemical medicines)

Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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India history and geogprahy

[«previous (A) next»] — Ardhanarishvara in India history glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Ardhanārīśvara.—(CII 4), a form of Śiva, in which the bodies of Śiva and Pārvatī are combined into one. Note: ardhanārīśvara is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

[«previous (A) next»] — Ardhanarishvara in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Ardhanārīśvara (अर्धनारीश्वर).—a form of Śiva, (half male and half female) cf.... पतिरपि जगता- मर्धनारीश्वरोऽभूत् (patirapi jagatā- mardhanārīśvaro'bhūt) Sūkti.5.99.

Derivable forms: ardhanārīśvaraḥ (अर्धनारीश्वरः).

Ardhanārīśvara is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms ardha and nārīśvara (नारीश्वर). See also (synonyms): ardhanārīśa, ardhanārī, ardhanaṭeśvara.

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Ārdhanārīśvara (आर्धनारीश्वर).—The story of the lord Śiva in his form as अर्धनारीश्वर (ardhanārīśvara).

Derivable forms: ārdhanārīśvaram (आर्धनारीश्वरम्).

Ārdhanārīśvara is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms ārdha and nārīśvara (नारीश्वर).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

Ardhanārīśvara (अर्धनारीश्वर) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—lexicographer. Quoted by Cāritravardhana on Raghuvaṃśa.

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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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